Students, staff talk playing hooky on game day

By Joshua Qualls

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As expected, students and faculty members are divided over classes being canceled for Thursday night’s football game against Auburn.

Instructors who teach on Thursdays are concerned about the commute to campus and many students who have class want to enjoy UK’s first Thursday night football game since 1939.

The university decided not to cancel all classes despite expected traffic problems. Eric Monday, the executive vice president of Finance and Administration, sent a campus-wide email Tuesday and said it would ultimately be up to the instructors to decide whether to have class.

Typically, instructors do not park in game day restricted areas, but many anticipate students will have trouble finding parking or decide to skip class. Some instructors  gave their students the option to attend class, while others have decided to cancel.

Maylon Ellington, a chemical engineering sophomore, parks in K Lot and said he will move his car to one of the streets near Woodland Glen because it is closer than the off-campus parking locations provided by the university. Ellington said students should not have trouble moving their cars if they plan ahead.

“(The university does not) have to cancel classes,” Ellington said. “School is a priority, football is extracurricular — drinking and tailgating is extracurricular.”

Mark Stuhlfaut, an associate professor in the Department of Integrated Strategic Communications, teaches a 2 p.m. class on Thursdays, has a midterm exam scheduled on game day and said he will not cancel class.

“It’s a matter of principle,” Stuhlfaut said. “The function of the university is to educate students and have regular classes.”

Stuhlfaut said it is the students’ responsibility to be in class on time and be prepared for the exam. He said students should worry less about the extracurricular activities they have planned for the day and make sure to take care of their responsibilities as a student.

Students will have enough time to leave class and do whatever they want, Stuhlfaut said. His class ends at 3:15 p.m., leaving several hours before kick-off.

“I think it’s kind of trivial to have classes canceled because of a sporting event,” said Michelle Shamroe, a human health sciences freshman who has two classes canceled because of the game. “In all honesty, I think that the university could have done … a better job with scheduling.”

Like many students, Shamroe parks in K Lot and will have to move her car to the Lexington Legends’ Whitaker Bank Ballpark by Thursday at 7 a.m.

Shamroe had a midterm scheduled for Thursday, but it was pushed back a week. Despite her criticism, she welcomes the relief during midterms and admitted having classes canceled is fun.

“I think that a lot of students are planning on not coming to class, especially students who don’t live on campus because it will be difficult to park,” Shamroe said. “Some will just see it as a hassle.”

Gray Manis, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, teaches a class at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, which is only an hour before the scheduled start of the game. He expected his students would want to go to the game or avoid the traffic and parking troubles, so he decided to reschedule class.

Manis expected problems at the beginning of the semester and requested to have his Thursday night class moved to Tuesday night because of the game. The administration approved his request.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the university to get some national exposure,” Manis said. “I’m all for it.”

The Kernel reached out to several professors who canceled classes because of the game, but all declined to comment.